Author Topic: tool changer tips and tricks  (Read 994 times)

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Offline mark4

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tool changer tips and tricks
« on: September 29, 2017, 10:05:18 PM »
hi all i havent posted for a while just finishing a machine with a new controller and it fought me fyi if you have rf noise and you dont know where it is check that your fuses are all tight you have no idea how long it took me to find that and that was luck. onward i am doing a cincinati milicron mill with a 20? position tool changer and i have to write a tool change program in lua of course so i am going to write down the sequence and start programming but i was thinking i have written tool changers before with mostly good results but that was VB not lua. several concerns i have are the best way to go about an array or table for mach 4 to accomplish two things make sure mach knows which tool is where and the best way for the program to take the shortest route to the next tool. i have seen posts about tool changer programs some times they get help sometimes they dont. so i thought some of you have written tool changers or have some ideas and if you would post your insights would really help me to design the best tool changer or the problem spots you have had. this also might help others to write a tool changer i thank you in advance for any insight you might have and when i have finished writing the sequence of events i will post it.
mark

Offline dunnitagain

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Re: tool changer tips and tricks
« Reply #1 on: October 01, 2017, 01:06:10 PM »
Hey Mark , I have no insight for you on lua script . But I am interested in your toolchanger outcome. I am retrofitting a Fadal with 21 position tool changer , and the
knowledge or time just isnt available yet , as far as I can find out . Several have done it but with different style TCs and using a plc. Good Luck with your project , I may need some help with mine when your done!!
Dwayne

Offline mark4

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Re: tool changer tips and tricks
« Reply #2 on: October 04, 2017, 09:27:50 PM »
hi all starting to think on the tool changer.
1st i have 21 tool carousel i am thinking need to know which tool is in which holder not the tool table yet but physical holder. so i am going to build a page put a circle on it then 21 leds around the circle. next i am going to need to write a homing routine. my carousel doesnt have a home switch after some investigating and calling tech support i found that out. so i am going to add a home switch. i checked it out wont be that hard. i think i will home the carousel every time machine is homed. now is the part i dont yet know how to do there is a sensor to count each position for tool holder. we want each count to progressively light up the led for the tool it is on or count down to tool it is on. i am also thinking of a dro that does the counting that way it is always active with where it is. i believe i am coming at this from the right direction as the main is the carousel and knowing which tool is where should be the beginning. please add your comments ideas i appreciate any help.
mark

Offline dunnitagain

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Re: tool changer tips and tricks
« Reply #3 on: October 05, 2017, 07:56:21 AM »
 Mark , I know that the Fadal carousel has a hall sensor that sends a pulse to the PLC . To either increment the tool count up , or down , depending on rotation of carousel . Fadal has a Geneva wheel drive mechanism that rotates the carousel 1 tool position per 1 revolution of the Geneva mechanism. I would think homing the carousel would not be needed , you would just have to save the current tool to memory somehow upon power down?

Offline Chaoticone

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Re: tool changer tips and tricks
« Reply #4 on: October 05, 2017, 10:16:09 AM »
Lots of ways to do it. If its an option, might consider replacing the Geneva mechanism with a servo to rotate the carousel. Then you just command that axis to a position for each tool and you will know what position it is in because you have encoder feed back. Calculate the steps per so one unit in the axis is on tool slot. Tool 1, G0 C1.000, tool 2 G0 C2.000, etc. Can home to the index pulse of encoder, do an offset of that to line with tool slot, much faster than Geneva mechanism, etc. lots of benefits.
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Offline mark4

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Re: tool changer tips and tricks
« Reply #5 on: October 06, 2017, 12:39:21 AM »
hi i dont  know exactly what a Geneva mechanism is but i believe bridgport tool changers use them and i believe the cincinati milicron that i am upgrading also has one i still haven't been able to get the carousel apart and the tool changer door is jammed tight and i mean tight had to remove the bracket so i could manually get it to the back position so i could lower the spindle for the riggers now guess what bracket didn't make it to the end of the journey. chaoticone glad to hear from you, i once did a tool changer in vb with a stepper and that worked out well however i have a machine all set up i am planning to reuse the servo drives and the spindle drive and the original tool change setup. all i want to do is replace the computer and controller as they are crap. the more you can reuse the less outlay and redesign necessary so i am sticking with the ac motor which is just the same as the one on a bridgeport torq cut. dunnitagain the orriginal computer for this machine had a place for you to manually tell the computer which tool was in home position and yes we could do that and we could save the current tool to memory although i have no idea how to do that. it is going to be easy to add a home sensor to the setup which i believe they should have had in the first place. the thing about homing the carousal is this regardless of the position it was when shut down or abruptly turned off ie power outage you will always be able to start at home position which will probably be 1 pointed at the spindle i will post when i work that out. if i were doing a fadal i would just read the same hall sensor but would probable rout it to my controller plc's are great but for me its just one more thing the cslabs controller has plenty of inputs and outputs and they can be expanded to an obscene number. also the ethernet smooth stepper now you can use the first one for running the machine and you can have a second one for additional input and output. so why use a plc and do even more programming.  the next question is will mach remember which tool is in the spindle or do we have to tell it upon restart. mach 3 had to be told and it could be dicey if mach 3 decided it didn't want to listen. we also need to think about tool load unload and tool in spindle but i dont want to put the cart before the horse so i am going to get the carousal right first. thank you for your replies i will post when i have a start for my tool changer page. by the way does anybody know how to save and import just one page ie tool changer page.
mark